She had to have been still in high school, as in her Senior Yearbook, there is a note about Darlene & her Buddy.
In the top drawer in our Mom's bedroom, was a velvet jewelry box where she kept her watch that she received from Grandma & Grandpa for her high school graduation. At one time there used to be a little baby ring that I wore home from the hospital, evidently a tradition of the times. And then there was the diamond ring.
I loved to look in that little velvet box and one day Mom told me a little about the ring. You see, she had a sweetheart before she met our Dad. She never talked about him much, never gave any details of their romance, and I don't think I ever saw her shed a tear...yet there was a sadness about it. She told me that she was engaged to Buddy and Buddy went to the War. But Buddy didn't make it back home. He was in Italy & was killed in action with his brother at his side.
In the past few years I've thought about that part of her life that Mom kept from us. I cannot imagine what grief she must have gone through when she got the news that her Buddy wouldn't be coming home to her, and there would be no wedding. A grief that a teenage girl should not have to bare.
But a few years passed & her life went on & when she was 20, she met our Dad. They married the summer that she was 21.
I've also thought about Dad & the love he had for her...how he loved her so much that he never mentioned that there was someone in her life before him. It didn't matter...he made a new life and a new love where she could go on.
Mom and Dad loved being a family. He gave up old habits that she couldn't stand, just so their romance could go on. She couldn't stand to see a man drink, and once he knew that, he never touched it again. He went to her church, different from the one he attended as a boy, and there after they were married, he gave his heart to Jesus & was faithful to attend.
They had a good life together, raised 2 daughters and a son and were able to see 5 grandchildren & 3 step-grandchildren brought into their family, and later great-grandchildren.
In their last few years, Dad became a romantic. Even though he might pick them up at the grocery store florist, he would surprise Mom with a bouquet of fresh flowers. Roses seemed to be his favorite. And when in the past he seldom would think to buy her a card for a special occasion, in the later years, he would find a special card expressing how much he loved her.He loved her unconditionally. It didn't matter that there had been a Buddy in her life. She was now his. And as the hospice nurse warned us the day Mom passed away, he didn't live very long after she was gone. His heart was already in Heaven.
Happy Valentines Day, Mom & Dad! Without you...I wouldn't be here to share your Love Story!